Saturday, November 28, 2009


FINAL: Drummondville 2, Saint John 4

SAINT JOHN – With 92 seconds to go in the third, a season high 5,074 fans at Harbour Station jumped to their feet with hands popping up, screams being shrieked, and popcorn flying everywhere. Mike Hoffman ringed a shot off the crossbar just a moment earlier and then scored the game winning goal on a back door play to give the Dogs a 4-2 win over the Drummondville Voltigeurs.

The win gave Saint John an amazing 16th straight victory and tenth consecutive home win which ties a team record.

Sea Dogs head coach Gerard Gallant will certainly take the Sea Dogs 24th win of the season, but should be anything but pleased with it. It appeared some of the glue holding together crafts Rhoda’s Craft Show last weekend leaked unto the ice as the Dogs were flat out lazy with their plays.

Saint John had difficulty all game breaking through what seemed like a brick wall of Voltigeurs defenseman at the red line. But it was the stealer goaltender of Marc-Antoine Gelinas and the hard hits laid by Mike Thomas that won the Dogs the game.

Scoring for the Sea Dogs was Hoffman with a pair and Nicholas Pard. The Volts replied with a goal each from Ryan McKiernan and Gabriel Dumont.

Saint John had a solid scoring chance just minutes into the game when Tomas Jurco broke loose on a partial breakaway. Jurco was hauled down and shoved into the end boards but no penalty shot was rewarded.

At 3:35 Saint John went to the power play but couldn’t muster any good chances. In fact, the Dogs could hardly get it across the blue line and caused a handful of turnovers. Saint John would go 2/4 on the power play in the game.

Four minutes later Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Simon Despres went around two defenseman but was stopped by Frederic Piche. The Volts goaltender made 27 saves in the loss and fell to 4-2-0 on the season.

Mathieu Guertin had a great chance to make it 1-0 Volts as he was wide open in the slot but couldn’t get the puck into the empty cage.

Drummondville captain Marc-Olivier Vachon went to the penalty box at 11:59 after knocking Simon Despres’ stick out of his hand. Saint John finally got their power play rolling with Michael Kirkpatrick and Tomas Jurco having great chances in close.

Saint John finally made it 1-0 at 18:42 on the power play. Kevin Gagne wristed a shot from just above the face-off circle and was tipped by Nicholas Pard. Pard’s tip found its way inside the right post and beat a screened Piche.

The Volts and Sea Dogs both had six shots in the first period. Saint John had the better scoring chances in the period.

At 3:06 Stephen MacAulay gave a great pass to Danick Gauthier in front but couldn’t tip in the pass.

A strange play put Saint John’s second worst penalty killing unit to the test. Mike Hoffman was thrown out of the face-off circle followed by Nick Petersen. The Sea Dogs received a delay of game penalty with Gallant and Mike Kelly furious on the bench.

Drummondville made no mistake on the man advantage at 5:02. Ryan McKiernan’s point shot went by everyone including a screened Gelinas to tie the game 1-1.

At 7:07 a shot lay in the crease with a mad scramble ensuing but no one could beat Piche before it was batted away. Then with Saint John on the penalty kill, Harbour Station exploded in cheers over Mike Thomas’s efforts a man down.

Drummondville took the lead at 12:13 when Gelinas could not hold on to a rebound. A streaking Gabriel Dumont batted the puck over Gelinas to give the Volts a 2-1 lead.

At 14:21 Hoffman ringed a shot off the crossbar. At 17:59 the Ottawa Senators prospect was rewarded for his efforts however. Hoffman blasted a point shot into the corner to tie the game 2-2. The goal gave him his first regulation goal against his former team.

The Volts outshot Saint John 15-6 in the period.

Saint John couldn’t get anything going in the third period. The first eight minutes were all in the Saint John zone and Drummondville outshot Saint John 6-2 halfway through the period.

At 11:16 it appeared the Volts had taken the lead again as a point shot from the point beat Gelinas. The goal went under review and was ruled no goal as someone tipped the puck with a high stick.

But at 18:28 Harbour Station absolutely exploded when Mike Hoffman beat Piche behind the goal to give Saint John a 3-2 lead. The Dogs even pulled out Chris DiDomenico low bench fist punches after the goal.

With under a minute to go Drummondville pulled Piche for an extra attacker. Mike Thomas was able to find the netting as he wristed a shot from just inside the blue line at 19:47. Thomas lay on the ice for several seconds in pure exhaustion.

The Volts outshot the Dogs 10-9 in the period and 31-21 in the game. Marc-Antoine Gelinas picked up the win and improved to 16-3-0. Drummondville went 1/5 on the power play.

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